Drugbound was a really fun learning experience for me. Here are a few things I learned:
- Don’t set your sights too high.
- Estimate how long you think a game will take to make, then quadruple it.
- Don’t let feature creep in.
- Nobody trusts, likes, or cares about in-app purchases for html5 web games
- don’t do too many changes to your canvas context each cycle (really brings down performance).
- don’t make a complex UI using css 3d transitions, because different browsers.
And most importantly for me and my style of working:
- do NOT spend an entire year on a single game because you’ll get about 1000 other ideas during the course of making the game that you won’t even be able to touch until afterwards.
The game was met some modicum of praise and I consider it a success in that I have shipped something. I’m completely glad that I did it and I can’t wait to make more games about even more complex issues we face in the world today.
But for right now, I’ve set my scale much smaller thanks to the folks at One Game a Month. Basically One Game a Month is a nice way to motivate people to make one game per month (or more). In order to do so you have to think of a game that you believe will only take a few days or a week to make, and then work on it all month. I am really a big fan of this format because it allows me to vomit forth all of the neat little ideas I had while making drugbound and make games out of them.
Drugbound was my January submission to One Game a Month. The February and March games I made all in about 2 weeks at the end
of february and beginning of March. They are SpaceTime and Cave Rush 2600 respectively. They were both very short games I made just to get some simple games that also work in mobile web browsers, which they do.
If you’re interested in doing One Game a Month it’s completely free and you can jump in at any time of the year. My friend and fellow Omaha game maker/artist Ryan Malm just jumped in a few weeks ago and already made a slick asteroids clone for March, Planetoid Decimator.